Robert Kirby has spent nearly three decades in college basketball building his reputation for being an elite recruiter.
Now he's known for his charity and sacrifice. The Memphis assistant coach donated one of his kidneys to his sister this week. It was a no-brainer for the 53-year-old Kirby -- one of 13 siblings -- to step in and make the move not only for familial reasons, but because of his family's history with kidney problems. It was almost two decades ago when Kirby reportedly lost his mother, in part, to kidney failure.
She refused to let any of her chidren donate their organs to help extend her life. ESPN.com with more:
"My mother wouldn't allow us to donate," said Kirby, an assistant coach over three decades on the staffs at Arkansas-Little Rock, Houston, Southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi State, Georgetown and LSU. "She said she lived her life. She didn't want any of us to do that. This was my sister, and it was never a question mark if I would, but it was 'Could I?'"
Kirby and Kirk were able to communicate with each other Thursday about their conditions.
"The color came back in her face right away," he said. "She's doing quite well. I'm just a little sore. She was down to one, and that one wasn't functioning very well at all. The life has come back to her."
Kirby spent last season, his only, with LSU, before taking a job on Memphis' staff in May. He's at home and resting for the short-term, but is expected to be healthy and able to be on the bench for the Tigers by the start of the season on Nov. 8.